As part of his participation in the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, Mr. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Economy and Finance attended the plenary session of the aforementioned meetings Friday, October 12th 2012.
In addition to these Annual Meetings, Mr. Nizar Baraka, took part in the meeting of finance ministers on the Deauville Partnership, chaired by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.
During this meeting, Mr. Baraka noted in particular the various initiatives of the Deauville Partnership including the promotion of the private sector and support to SMEs, the extension of operations of the EBRD`s activities to the SEMED region which includes Morocco as well as financial support primarily from the Gulf countries.
Similarly, the Minister participated in the Middle Income Countries` Forum (MICs), chaired by Mr. JIM KIM, President of the World Bank. The objective of this meeting is to initiate a debate on the role the Bank might have in supporting this category of countries.
In this context, Mr. Nizar Baraka stated that the (MICs) have shown a remarkable resilience against the financial crisis. However, faced with this long-running crisis, the ability of these countries to pursue their strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth is restricted by problems that started to have an impact on their macroeconomic balances.
In this regard, Mr. Baraka noted that the World Bank should therefore assist these countries in their vital phase of development by strengthening their resilience to external shocks without affecting their growth potential.
Moreover, within the framework of bilateral cooperation, Mr. Baraka held a meeting with the CEO of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). During this meeting, the two officials welcomed the recent developments in financial cooperation between the two countries, in particular through the contribution to the extension project the Jorf Lasfar power plant and agreed to give a new impetus to this cooperation through strengthening the relationship between the private sectors of both countries.
Mr. BARAKA stressed that Japanese companies will be interested in Morocco for its legal, logistical and economic conditions necessary for the development of their investments.
Mr. Baraka also discussed with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). During this meeting, the two parties were pleased with the ongoing cooperation, characterized particularly by approving first programs in Morocco.
Mr. Baraka emphasized the importance of the Bank`s contribution to the SMEs and stated that the Moroccan authorities are at their disposal to strengthen this cooperation.
In addition, the Minister held a meeting with Mr. Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF`s Middle East and Central Asia department. The discussions focused on the Moroccan economy taking into account the recent developments in the current international context.
The Minister took part, Saturday, October 13th 2012, at the coordination meeting of Arab governors in view of the presentation of their joint declaration before the President of the World Bank.
At this meeting, Mr. Baraka stressed that according to the President Jim Kim`s initiative to transform the Bank from "knowledge bank" into "bank of solutions," the relations of cooperation between the Bank and the Arab countries should be part of this change.
He also recalled the interest to develop the new instrument recently launched by the World Bank, namely the loan project/program for results (PPR) that affects disbursements to achieve effective results.
Similarly, he stressed that in a context where FDI slowed down, it is necessary that the Bank strengthens guarantee mechanisms for FDI and the private sector in general.
He also called on the Bank to support the strengthening of food security and energy projects as well as projects to provide access to different regions in order to enhance regional integration.
During this event, the Minister took part in the joint ministerial meeting of the World Bank and the IMF "Development Committee". The main focus of this meeting is: (i) the creation of a quality job for development, (ii) gender equality, and (iii) disaster risk management.
At the Development Committee, Mr. BARAKA addressed the World Bank on behalf of our group which is made up of, besides Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Iran, Ghana, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. A copy of this statement is attached.
As part of his speech, Mr. Baraka underlined the difficult global economic environment characterized by the continuing financial crisis and the slow economic growth globally.
The Minister, likewise, noted that many developing countries suffer from the decline in tourism, foreign direct investments and trade as well as the drying up of funding sources.
Mr. Baraka noted that an effective employment strategy should aim to create stable and well-paid jobs, reduce poverty and inequality and strengthen areas of production and social cohesion.
Mr. Baraka called the Bank to implement innovative analytical tools to enable cross-cutting diagnoses of different jobs and that within a coherent and integrated vision based on shared knowledge resulting from practical experiences of each member country.
He likewise called on the Bank to develop partnerships with other international development actors with a view to improving the process of strengthening the countries capacity to create quality jobs for millions of young women and men looking for work and decent living conditions.
Concerning the theme on gender equality, the Minister, stressing the progress made in this field, invited the World Bank to set up a long-term action plan to be able to assess progress and make any adjustments needed to solve this problem, taking into account the economic and social characteristics of this member countries.